Product Roadmapping

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What is a product roadmap?

A product roadmap is a plan of action used to guide the development and evolution of a product over time. Product roadmaps provide reasoning and plans for the product’s existence, allowing stakeholders involved in building the product to have a strategic document to refer back to when executing the product strategy. Ultimately, a product roadmap will align stakeholders while outlining future product functionality, release cycles and offer responses to shifts in the product's landscape.

How do you create a product roadmap?

  • Product roadmaps are created by product teams, development teams, customer success teams and high-level stakeholders within the enterprise.

Product roadmaps provide the opportunity for all stakeholders involved with product development, go-to-market strategies, and customer success to align their goals and create a strategic document for the creation and growth of a product. Product roadmaps should include key information about the product’s journey to market and the value it will provide to stakeholders, as well thresholds for success throughout the product’s growth. 

To create a product roadmap, the strategy and requirements needed to provide value to the customer and to the business must be set. These requirements are influenced directly by the product’s vision, customer support team feedback, direct user feedback and existing product knowledge. The strategy and requirements are then assigned to a broad timeline and tailored toward stakeholder participation. Finally, the roadmap is shared with all stakeholders and development can begin. Product roadmaps are often created in spreadsheets or proprietary cloud-based software and should be visual in nature, have several variations to account for changing factors, and be flexible enough to be adapted regularly.

What goes on a product roadmap?

  • Every product roadmap should contain the product’s vision, strategy, requirements, production plan, key markers and success metrics.

Product roadmaps are intended to shed light on the growth of a product over an extended period of time, from its initial development through its evolution on the market. Accordingly, product roadmaps must be robust and contain strategic details for every point in the growth process. 

The roadmap should begin with the product’s vision, which puts the company on a trajectory towards the final product. The strategy is how internal and external stakeholders become familiar with the product and describes the value it will provide to the business. The roadmap is used to ensure strategy remains the same throughout production. Requirements are then added to outline the needs of the project and what value users need to receive once the product is launched. The product plan includes production steps, ensuring the product vision will be met and outlines how the plan will be executed. Markers are crucial to keeping all stakeholders informed about the project’s timing. They may be adjusted over the course of the project but the inclusion of markers in the product roadmap allow stakeholders to remain organized during handoffs. Finally, metrics ensure success can be measured over development, launch and growth periods.

How often should product roadmap planning be done?

  • Product roadmaps should be regularly reviewed and updated to account for changing factors in production and variable market trends.

In many enterprise environments, particularly those that abide by Agile methodology, changes during a product’s production cycle are considered a natural part of the product’s lifecycle. Flexible market trends and production capabilities can lead to changes in product elements or processes, meaning product roadmaps will need to be adjusted to account for these changes and remain on track with the production process. 

The intervals in which the product will be reviewed can depend on the product’s age and market share, but reviews will often occur every quarter for mature products in a dynamic market and monthly for new products in a dynamic market. In more stable markets, these review periods will occur every three to six months for mature products and quarterly for new products. Additionally, product roadmapping will need to occur any time a new product will be put into production.

Courses

Expand Your Product Roadmapping Career Opportunities

Learn product roadmapping skills and other key techniques by taking a product management course from Udemy.

Udemy

Topic:

Accelerate your Product Management career. Master communication, people management, & leadership

What you'll learn:

  • How to Become a Leader

  • How to…

4.5
(1877)
Udemy

Topic:

Become a Great Product Manager! Land your dream job with Microsoft's Senior Product Manager. Build your own product!

 

What you'll learn:

  • Effective Product…

4.6
(713)
Udemy

Topic:

Translating Product Strategy into Product Roadmap for Enterprise Products

 

What you'll learn:

  • Translating Product Strategy into Product Roadmap for accomplishing…

3.6
(41)
Udemy

Topic:

Product Management CERTIFICATION. Product Management Essentials and Product Management Fundamentals to become a PM

 

What you'll learn:

  • Product Management…

4.2
(15)
Certifications

Product Roadmapping Certifications + Programs

Udacity’s in-demand product management certifications can make your resume shine brighter than ever before.

General Assembly’s Product Management course teaches the end-to-end product management (PM) process to a real-world scenario, from evaluating users and managing a roadmap to creating a minimum viable product (MVP) and developing metrics.

 

What you'll accomplish

This is a beginner-friendly program with no prerequisites, although students may have had exposure to product development concepts or be informally taking on PM responsibilities in their current role. Throughout this expert-designed program, you’ll:

  • Determine key risks and assumptions of a product in order to prioritize research and discovery work.
  • Validate hypotheses by gathering user feedback via MVPs, interviews, experiments, and testing.
  • Execute competitive research to highlight market gaps and trends.
  • Speak fluently with developers, user experience designers, and other business stakeholders about priorities, requirements, and workflow.
  • Apply metrics alongside objectives and key results (OKRs) to measure a product’s success and track its life cycle.
  • Apply what you’ve learned to create a portfolio project: a presentation detailing your product creation strategy.

 

Why General Assembly

Since 2011, General Assembly has graduated more than 40,000 students worldwide from the full time & part time courses. During the 2020 hiring shutdown, GA's students, instructors, and career coaches never lost focus, and the KPMG-validated numbers in their Outcomes report reflect it. *For students who graduated in 2020 — the peak of the pandemic — 74.4% of those who participated in GA's full-time Career Services program landed jobs within six months of graduation. General Assembly is proud of their grads + teams' relentless dedication and to see those numbers rising. Download the report here.

 

Your next step? Submit an application to talk to the General Assembly Admissions team


 

Note: reviews are referenced from Career Karma - https://careerkarma.com/schools/general-assembly

 

Udacity
Beginner
4 months
10 hours

Product Managers are responsible for designing and delivering a profitable product or feature into the market. In this program, you will learn to define product strategy and KPIs based on market analysis, pitch a product vision to get stakeholder buy-in, and design a user-centered prototype that adheres to engineering constraints. Then, you will develop an execution timeline that handles competing priorities, communicate a product roadmap that builds consensus amongst internal stakeholders, and create a comprehensive go-to-market plan based on product KPIs. Finally, you will build tests to enhance product features based on market data.

Udacity
Beginner
4 months
10 hours
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